Cystitis Diet

Understand the Cystitis Diet

Cystitis refers to a condition in which the bladder becomes swollen as a result of a urinary tract infection or UTI. Cystitis isn’t serious in and of itself when it’s treated quickly. Continue reading to learn about the cystitis diet.

Left as-is, cystitis can cause serious complications.

Symptoms of Cystitis

Individuals with this condition may feel pain and discomfort as well as notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A deeper yellow urine
  • A pungent smell when urinating
  • Burning while going to the bathroom
  • Lethargy and agitation
  • Pain in the lower back, pelvis, and abdomen
  • Traces of blood in the urine

UTI vs. Cystitis

There are different types of cystitis including Interstitial Cystitis, which is a lifelong disorder that cannot be cured but managed. Since doctors often use the term “cystitis” when referring to bladder inflammation caused by a UTI, for the purposes of this article, we’ll explore what you can do to prevent UTIs – the underlying cause of the disease.

The UTI Cystitis Diet

Cystitis is relatively common in women. It affects millions each year, many of whom have recurring episodes. Men, too, are popularly diagnosed with UTIs. A doctor’s intervention is usually recommended to rule out other underlying conditions, in addition to getting the correct dosage of antibiotics – the standard of choice for treating UTIs.

If you’re a woman who gets UTIs more than three times within a 12-month period, it may be related to your diet. Some foods are researched to trigger urinary tract infections, and we’ll explore some of these below.

The Correlation Between Diet and UTIs

According to Prevention Magazine, The Washington University School of Medicine completed studies confirming that our diet plays a significant role in how well the urinary tract fights harmful bacteria.

Another factor to contemplate when formulating a UTI fighting plan is whether it’s wise to always rely on antibiotics.

Common bacteria that cause cystitis, such as E.coli, may not respond to antibiotics due to excessive use. This bacterial resistance to antibiotics can be compared to insect repellants that are used in the same location numerous times. Over time, the insects become immune to the treatments and new alternatives have to be devised.

Similarly, in the fight against cystitis and subsequently UTIs, more women are looking inward vs. outward to change the outcome – for good.

The Recipe for Cystitis Prevention

Here are a few ingredients to add to your cystitis diet:

  • A Polyphenols Rich Diet – Foods that contain polyphenols work fast and hard to fight bacteria in the urinary tract, according to the study. This is because it annihilates iron, the main component for stimulating E.coli, for example. Foods that are rich in polyphenols include dark chocolate, blueberries, and cranberries.
  • Cranberries – Not everyone agrees on the benefits of cranberries for UTIs, including medical professionals. However, studies show that they contain bacteria-fighting properties, particularly those that deter harmful microbes from attaching to the walls of the bladder. The challenge comes in finding just how much one person needs to consume to fight cystitis year-round.
  • Yogurts – The natural probiotics in some types of unsweetened yogurt have been proven to keep the urinary tract in check. This delectable treat keeps the good bacteria in and the bad ones out.

Now that we know the cystitis diet let's learn what foods to avoid.

Food to Avoid

Many of us already know that carbonated beverages trigger a host of health issues, including cystitis. As a result, it’s best to stay away from sodas and energy drinks.

Cystitis Prevention Tips

There’s more you can do besides changing your diet to prevent cystitis. Some tips include:

  • Urinating as soon as you have the urge – Experts warn against holding the urine in for prolonged periods of time, as this creates a hotbed for bacterial growth. Moreover, it’s best to release the bladder all in one go vs. a little at a time.
  • Cleaning up often – Keep the vaginal area clean and dry at all times. Healthcare experts recommend wiping from front to back instead of vice versa.
  • Washing up post sexual intercourse – If you feel the urge to go after sex, do so as soon as is practical. In addition, doctors suggest washing up with a fragrance-free soap to keep the area germ-free.
  • Embracing cotton – Cotton lingerie is widely supported for preventing UTIs because these help keep you light, dry, and airy.

The Take Home Message

When home remedies don’t work, it’s time to see a doctor. Give yourself the gift of good health by maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle, as well as visiting a medical provider for frequent checkups.

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Last Reviewed:
July 17, 2017
Last Updated:
October 24, 2017
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